“We don’t have to shut those areas off,”- Lewis Hamilton backs Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in spite of the Human Rights concerns flagged.
Lewis Hamilton after being demanded to speak against the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix which was announced earlier this month, as the alleged human rights violations by the middle-eastern state have raised several objections.
Amnesty International publically asked Hamilton to speak against this step by Formula 1, but on contrary, Hamilton has now supported the Grand Prix scheduled to happen next year but has a message which coincides with the thought process of the dissenters.
Respected in a sport that doesn’t respect women enough to not hold a GP in Saudi Arabia. Let’s not pretend @f1 has its sh1t together on this subject.
— Jack (@chillpeople44) November 12, 2020
“When we’ve seen the Black Lives Matter movement, that really gave me so much drive, so much focus that we had to utilise it, realise that we’ve got to really use this platform that we have, which is amazing,” Hamilton said.
“There’s a lot of organisations in the world that turn a blind eye to a lot of stuff that’s happening and they’ll use the excuse that it’s ‘political’. Human rights is not a political thing.
“Human rights should be equal for everyone and we’re going to all these countries where that is an issue,” he said. Despite this statement, hamilton further went onto say that the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in such global platform may help transform the conditions over there.
“We don’t have to shut those areas off,” he said. “We have to figure out how we can engage more, how we can really utilise this platform to encourage and push for change.”
Not the first race to get global criticism
Grand Prix happening in China, Bahrain and Russia also received significant backlash over the human rights concerns, but the FIA never before paid heed to it.
Though this time, Amnesty International asked drivers to brief themselves about the situation happening in Saudi Arabia and take a firm stand over it.
“The bitter irony over a Saudi Grand Prix is that the very people who fought for the rights of Saudi women to be able to drive are now themselves languishing in jail,” said Amnesty’s UK head of campaigns Felix Jakens. “Brave people like Loujain al-Hathloul and Nassima al-Sada.
“Presuming this race now goes ahead, Formula 1 should insist that all contracts contain stringent labour standards across all supply chains and that all race events are open to everyone without discrimination.”